Examining the long-term stability of overgeneral autobiographical memory

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Suzanne Vrshek-Schallhorn, Associate Professor and Undergraduate Program Director (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Overgeneral autobiographical memory (OGM) is a proposed trait-marker for vulnerability to depression, but relatively little work has examined its long-term stability. This study investigated the stability of OGM over several years in 271 late adolescents and young adults participating in a larger longitudinal study of risk for emotional disorders. The Autobiographical Memory Test (AMT) was administered twice, with test–retest intervals ranging from approximately 3 to 6 years. There was evidence of significant but modest stability in OGM over several years. Specifically, Spearman rank correlations (?s) between the proportions of specific and categoric memories generated on the two AMTs were .31 and .32, respectively. We did not find evidence that the stability of OGM was moderated by the length of the test–retest interval. Furthermore, the stability coefficients for OGM for individuals with and without a lifetime history of major depressive disorder (MDD) were relatively similar in magnitude and not significantly different from one another (?s=.34 and .42 for the proportions of specific and categoric memories for those with a history of MDD; ?s=.31 for both the proportions of specific and categoric memories for those without a history of MDD). Implications for the conceptualisation of OGM are discussed.

Additional Information

Memory 22(3)
Language: English
Date: 2013
overgeneral autobiographical memory, autobiographical memory specificity, long-term stability, depression

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